#6 Randy Orton (4,962 days; debut; SmackDown, April 25, 2002)
With an influx of talent hoping to make a mark in the post-Monday Night War era of sports-entertainment, a fresh-faced rookie named Randy Orton walked into Mr. McMahon’s office before his official tryout match. The Chairman raved about Orton’s pedigree, but even he couldn’t have guessed what The Legend Killer-turned-Viper-turned-Face of WWE would accomplish in his career. He’s the youngest World Champion in history, capturing the title at age 24. He unified the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships to form the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in 2013. He’s risen through the ranks of Evolution and led the charge with The Legacy and The Authority.
Twelve years and 12 World Championship reigns after first walking onto WWE TV, Orton has matured into a sports-entertainment icon.
Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton married fiancée Kim this weekend. The newlyweds recently appeared together on Unfiltered with Renee Young, available only on WWE Network.
Join the rest of the WWE Universe in congratulating Randy Orton and his new bride on this exciting new chapter in their lives! Send your congrats to The Viper on Twitter by tweeting @RandyOrton.
From the R-O.com team: Congratulations Randy & Kim on your nuptials, we wish you guys nothing but the best on your new & exciting journey together.
Three weeks ago, it was reported that Randy Orton did not appear on Monday Night Raw at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Although it is still unclear as to whether Bray Wyatt was directly responsible for The Viper’s absence that night, as initial speculation indicated, WWE.com can now confirm that Orton’s injuries are significant, and will keep him from stepping into a WWE ring for an extended period of time.
“Randy has suffered from a dislocated shoulder. He’s had chronic problems with his shoulder, and a recent MRI that was done found he has a Bankart lesion in his shoulder, some stretched ligaments and a partially torn rotator cuff,” WWE physician Dr. Steve Daquino told WWE.com. “At this point it’s a matter of when he dislocates the shoulder again, and not if. Surgery seems imminent, and recovery time for such a surgery would be four to six months.”
You can listen to Randy’s interview by click here.
Back in his hometown for WWE’s Battleground PPV tomorrow night at Scottrade Center, WWE Superstar Randy Orton made a stop by Busch Stadium to talk some baseball and take in the St. Louis Cardinals game against the New York Mets tonight.
“I’ve seen so many locker rooms, so many arenas, but ballparks–not so much,” said Orton, who toured the clubhouse and team facilities after batting practice. “Their training facility was amazing. The rehab stuff they had was great.” Orton, who’s battled through shoulder and other injuries over the course of his WWE career, compared notes with several of the players on their own injuries. “Adams was telling me about his quad and how far out he is, how he’ll be able to swing in a couple of weeks,” relayed Orton. “As an athlete, you kind of do what you’ve got to do–you ice it, you do therapy, you see the doc and do what the doc says. You’ve got that hunger inside to come back so you know you’re eventually going to get back there.
“To see Matt Adams here, injured and on the DL but with all the boys here for support, here to be part of the team, one of the guys–it reminded me of how the WWE locker room is. It’s a band of brothers. Everyone kind of has each other’s back and you could feel that in there and it’s a good feeling.”
Recently engaged, Orton was joined by two of his three soon-to-be stepsons and seeing their excitement at meeting the ballplayers reminded him of the kids who meet the WWE superstars before events. It also took Randy back to his days growing up in North County and cheering for the Cardinals. “Ozzie Smith, that was my dude,” stated Orton. “With my schedule, it’s hard to keep up with everything. but to get kind of revitalized with the whole Cardinals and the baseball thing, and to come down here and meet everybody–I would say I’m a born-again fan. I’m going to have to get back into it.” It will be a family affair at Battleground for Orton, who is a third-generation wrestler. While his father, Cowboy Bob Orton, still frequents events and occasionally still climbs in the ring, it will be Momma Orton seated in the front row to watch her son take on Sheamus.
@JoeyStyles: Knowing that he can have a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match whenever he damn well pleases, I expect The Celtic Warrior to walk away and take a loss by intentional count-out when he senses that an RKO is coming “outta nowhere.” WINNER: Randy Orton
@HowardFinkel: I have been a big advocate of The Celtic Warrior since he returned to WWE with a new attitude and look. And winning the Money in the Bank contract was a huge feather in the Irishman’s cap! But that was then and this is now. This match could go either way, but I feel that The Viper will be a mere three seconds better than Sheamus this Sunday. WINNER: Randy Orton
Anthony Benigno: Randy Orton’s brief leave of absence opened the door for Sheamus to run rampant, and The Apex Predator’s return has Mr. Money in the Bank appropriately shook. The Celtic Warrior was made a fool on Raw by Orton’s mocking RKO, which means he’ll have a grudge going into their Battleground brawl. And, as we all know, an angry Sheamus is the most effective Sheamus. WINNER: Sheamus
Jeff Laboon: Randy Orton is the most vindictive Superstar of all time. Every time Orton thinks about Sheamus, he thinks about how that Money in the Bank contract should travel with him. WINNER: Randy Orton
Bobby Melok: Don’t expect too many headlocks and hip-tosses when The Viper and The Celtic Warrior enter the ring. An all-out brawl favors Sheamus, so look for Mr. Money in the Bank to be victorious, despite Orton’s home field advantage in St. Louis. WINNER: Sheamus
Randy Orton: 3, Sheamus: 2